Military training drama showing how the residents of a barracks convince a sloppy soldier to clean up his act. With many folk songs on cleanliness.
Ken Smith sez: A film you will remember long after others are forgotten. This U.S. Army production introduces us to "Homer," a hillbilly-type who smells real bad. The guys in his barracks have to figure some way to encourage him to take a bath. They hit upon the idea of creating new lyrics for folk songs, and at this point the film quickly spins out of control, as Homer's loveable gang of GIs warbles tune after tune, such as "Fresh And Clean," and "Wash Your Socks." Amazing.
The U.S. Army, one of the world's most prolific makers of motion pictures, excelled with this one, which may have been produced near where we are now sitting at the Astoria Studios. Homer, a soldier of rural or mountain origin, doesn't wash and is smelling up the barracks. His strangely benevolent buddies decide on a musical strategy to get him under the spray, and cook up new lyrics for folk songs. The remainder of the lengthy film is composed of musical sequences like "Fresh and Clean" and "Wash Your Socks." After films like this, it's no wonder that veterans-turned-students needed the remedial advice of films like Body Care and Grooming.
This film has it all: great songs (about showering regularly), a message (keep clean, brush your teeth and more subtly, wipe your ass), a love triangle, a story of triumph over adversity (Homer conquers his ignorance and squalorwell, maybe just his squalor), square dancing, dopey gags, homoeroticismit's impossible to imagine that *Personal Hygiene* was not completely successful at getting our troops to feel great about staying clean. In fact, I got so excited that I stopped it in the middle of the first half and gargled with mouthwash. This is the sort of film you have to share with others just to prove you're not making stuff up! Sublimely absurd.
February 17, 2004 Subject:
What are you gonna with a stinky assed soldier?
Frequently amazing and mouth droppingly stupid movie which tells the journey of Homer (!) dirty soldier, who raises the ire of his company by stinking so much. Instead of a giant talking bar of soap to help him come around to his senses, his company tries to. But Homer is not the learning type, the only thing he cares about is his music. So the company decides to teach homer cleanliness by SINGING FOLK SONGS!!! My god, if this is not the craziest concept in a film, I'd like to show me it. The soldiers frequently burst out into song, as if it were MGM in the 1950's that it stretches into the bizarre and comical. Songs like 'What are you going to do with a dirty soldier?' 'Blisters On Your Feet' and most espcially 'Come a fly-yi-yippee-i-yay' (about diseased flies). Also features bizarre homoeroticism (Homer is this close to getting raped in the shower lol) and strange humor. OBVIOUSLY not your straight laced army training film, this is about as far fetched a film you're going to find here.. And how can I NOT give it 5 stars and a MUST SEE reccomendation on this site??
September 27, 2003 Subject:
I cannot add to ken smith,s fine review,except to say that I am in complete agreement with his assessment n